Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
May 25th, 2015 by Joel Watts

Book Reminder: @candidamoss’s Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness

The previews look great.

In the Book of Genesis, the first words God speaks to humanity are “Be fruitful and multiply.” From ancient times to today, these words have been understood as a divine command to procreate. Fertility is viewed as a sign of blessedness and moral uprightness, while infertility is associated with sin and moral failing. Reconceiving Infertility explores traditional interpretations such as these, providing a more complete picture of how procreation and childlessness are depicted in the Bible.

Closely examining texts and themes from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, Candida Moss and Joel Baden offer vital new perspectives on infertility and the social experiences of the infertile in the biblical tradition. They begin with perhaps the most famous stories of infertility in the Bible—those of the matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel—and show how the divine injunction in Genesis is both a blessing and a curse. Moss and Baden go on to discuss the metaphorical treatments of Israel as a “barren mother,” the conception of Jesus, Paul’s writings on family and reproduction, and more. They reveal how biblical views on procreation and infertility, and the ancient contexts from which they emerged, were more diverse than we think.

Reconceiving Infertility demonstrates that the Bible speaks in many voices about infertility, and lays a biblical foundation for a more supportive religious environment for those suffering from infertility today.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

One Response to “Book Reminder: @candidamoss’s Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness”
  1. Know More Than I Should says

    Reproduction would be a natural concern for a Bronze Age tribe. It becomes less of a problem in a culture that has more children than An Old Woman Living in a Shoe!

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